Smoke Affected Residents v. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai

2003 (3) BomCR 323
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A petition was filed by the Smoke Affected Residents’ Forum seeking appropriate directions from the Court for measures to control and reduce auto emissions from vehicles plying in Mumbai. These were with respect to the consumption of unleaded petrol, reduction of sulphur content in diesel oil, issuance of ‘Pollution Under Control’ certificates and ensuring that vehicles conform to EURO-I and EURO-II norms. They directed the Court’s attention to the adverse impact of vehicular effluents on the health of the residents of the city as well as the environmental damage caused by these effluents.

The Court passed a series of orders asking the state to take measures to ensure that the rights under articles 21 (Right to Life), 47 (Duty of the state to improve nutrition and public health) and 48A (Right to Environment) are available to the residents.

In an order dated October 17, 2001, the Court directed that all taxis, three-wheelers and transport vehicles be phased out unless they were converted to run on cleaner fuels like Compressed Natural Gas or Liquified Petroleum Gas.

In an order dated December 18, 2002, a notice of motion filed by the state asking for a deferral of the last date for the implementation of the previous order was rejected by the Court. The Court held that it had already taken all relevant factors into consideration when passing the previous order. Moreover, the Court held that sufficient time had already been given to the state for the implementation of the order.

The Court also directed that the Municipal Corporation of the city consider setting up a scrap yard to dump old vehicles and frame a policy for the disposal of such material.